Jurong Outreach

"whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ."


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Wife and Mother

One cannot think of a greater position in life than that of a mother — only one greater: that is a godly mother with godly children. The power to become a mother, given by Jehovah, is, I think, the greatest privilege in life. Nothing will do more to affect society than to take woman from the holy pedestal upon which God placed her and put her in the commercial world, carving a niche for herself. A married woman who works outside her home must remember her first duty is to be a godly wife or godly mother. We reap what we sow: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7).

To disregard the Bible is to substitute human wisdom. Thus doing, we must pay for the mistakes of man.

It has been said, “Rome conquered Greece militarily; but the Greece conquered Rome through her philosophy.” There are many values more powerful than guns and weapons. Revelation 11:15 says “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever.” The Gospel, planted into the hearts of people, will change them into the image of the Christ.

In no lives had the Gospel’s power been so demonstrated than in great women. No deeper poverty comes to a people than for womankind to abandon her God-given role!

A world without a Jochebed would have been a world without a Moses. Zachariah and Elizabeth “were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” (Luke 1:6).

Of John we read: “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11:11). What a statement from Christ! And what a tribute to the influence of righteousness! Yet, “…he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” It is better to rear children to become great Christians, than to have them reach great heights in world acclaim and not be Christians.

“Just a housewife”? No! A mother of Zion; a homemaker; a “keeper at home”. “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:5). God’s noblest gift to society. “Wife and mother, the easy way out”? Rather, wife and mother, the greatest power for good!

One great woman, at the death of her second husband (both of whom were prominently known), said to her daughter and me, “What a privilege to have been loved by two great men.” “Her husband is known in the gates” (Proverbs 31:23). This woman said that of her husbands.

Her children also, shall “arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her” (Proverbs 31:28). Of a wife it is said, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD” (Proverbs 18:22). Also, “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully” (1 Timothy 5:14).

A double emphasis! Her role is still blessed. Let her love her position in life. Let her honour God, bless the world by her marriage, and give this world another generation who will “rise up and call her blessed.” For “strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come” (Proverbs 31:25).

~Frank Young~

The Christian Sentinel

“In the heart of a bulb

is a promise of spring;

In the little blue egg

is a bird that will sing;

In the soul of the seed

is the hope of the sod;

In the soul of a child

is the kingdom of God.”

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The Christian Husband

A man’s relationship with his wife is the closest human relationship he will ever experience. It is so close that Jesus described it as becoming “one flesh” (Matthew 19:6), that Paul likened it to Christ, the Head, with His spiritual body, the Church. Thus, what he does for her, he does for himself, but what is the Christian husband’s obligation to his wife?

Lifelong Commitment

He has made a lifelong commitment to his wife, and divorce is only permitted by God for the cause of adultery (Matthew 19:9) God intended for one man and one woman to live together for life, but never intended for a married couple to be divorced. (Matthew 19:6).

If a husband is to live with his wife for a lifetime without considering divorce as an option, he has to make and keep a lifelong commitment to her. “Till death do us part” cannot be just words in a wedding ceremony, but words that reflect the determination in his heart.

At present times such commitment is often lacking, and when the romantic love or sexual attraction which drew husband and wife together cools off, any little problem is reason enough to get a divorce. The husband realizes that his wife is not so physically attractive anymore, she nags, and the girl at work seems so pretty and sweet, he is likely to start thinking about breaking up and starting over with someone else.

What can keep this from happening? The husband must take his commitment seriously! He must determine, no matter what problems arise, he must remain true to his wife.

Absolute Fidelity

(1 Cor 7:2-5) A Christian husband must keep the promise to keep himself for his wife alone and will resist committing adultery because he knows that adultery is a sin which involves more than 2 people.

Adultery would be sin against God, his wife, the woman with whom he committed adultery and her husband (if she were married). It would break the vow he made, it would likely affect his entire family, and it contributes to the  disintegration of society. Adultery is a terrible blow to the church, it would soil his soul. It would bring to him disastrous consequences, even if he later obtained forgiveness for the sin, or it would bring him to hell if he does not repent. Sinning also gives a victory to Satan.

Family Leadership

He owes it to his wife to act as the head of the family. (Eph 5:21; Col 3:18, 19; 1 Peter 3:1-6; 1 Cor 11:2-5) The bible teaches that man is to lead the home. The bible is not teaching that the man has absolute power over his wife.

Every man has to under 3 truths about his headship. 1) Found in a  context of mutual submission (Eph 5:21). The man and the wife are to submit to each other. He leads as a servant; his aim is to serve his wife. 2) His headship is characterized by love. He is to love his wife as he loves himself (Eph 5:33), as he loves his own body (Eph 5:28), and Christ’s sacrificial love for the Church (Eph 5:25). 3) His headship is exercised in ways that are culturally and personally acceptable. Different cultures, different times and different family backgrounds see the headship of a man differently. What is important is not what others think about your family, but what you know to be true.

To the Christian man, leadership is not so much a privilege to be enjoyed as responsibility to be borne. Upon him falls the task of guiding the family toward and enduring marriage and a successful home.

Love

If the wife owes her husband submission, he owes her love, as much as Christ had for the church (Eph 5:21-29). Christ’s love was selfless and sacrificial, and the Christian husband’s love for his wife must be that kind of love. How does he show that love?

The husband ought to keep romantic love alive in the marriage. Generally, the wife is more likely to be interested in romance that the husband. So, he should take it upon himself to keep the romance alive; he should woo his wife continually with kisses, hugs, gifts, poetry, and frequent affirmations of love. Why? Not because he feels the need for it, but because she does-and since he loves her, he wants to meet her emotional needs.

He should also strive to be like the person defined in 1 Cor 13:4-7.

Meeting The Wife’s Needs

1 Tim 5:8 would certainly apply to a man’s providing for his wife and children. It does not teach that it would be wrong for the woman to contribute to meeting the needs of the family by holding a job, but it does teach that a man should work to provide for his family. If he willfully refuses to work to support his own, he is to be disciplined (2 Thess 3:6-15).

While a husband has the responsibility to meet the physical needs of his family, he also has the responsibility to meet the family’s other needs. The wife, in particular, has psychological, emotional, and social needs which the husband should recognize. She wants to be reassured that she is somebody special to him. Women often suffer from low self-esteem, and the husband must take seriously his wife’s feelings of low self-esteem. Too frequently, a husband makes his wife feel worse by criticizing her.

Honour and Respect

Two requirements are placed upon husbands: to be understanding and to treat heir wives with respect. (1 Peter 3:7). A husband can try to be  understanding toward his wife, and he can certainly make an effort to be considerate of her. Husbands also should “respect” their wives. Good wives are due great honour (Proverbs 31:10-29). He can solve his wife’s problem of low self-esteem if he will respect her as a person of worth, honour her, praise her and never criticize her.

Spiritual Leadership

The most important responsibility God has give to husbands is to be the spiritual leader of the Family. Fathers are to bring their children up in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4). A major concern of the New Testament passages which deal with the husband/wife relationship is the spiritual dimension of the marriage. (1 Cor 7:5; 1 Peter 3:7).

The father must see that his children are taught the way of God, that the family studies the Bible and engages in devotions at home, that they attend worship services together and that his children have Christian examples to follow. The also has the responsibility to encourage and strengthen his wife so that they can one day be in heaven together.

Conclusion

In short, the Christian husband is to do everything in his power to serve his wife, make her happy, meet her needs, and help her go to heaven. A good wife’s worth is “far above jewels” (Prov 31:10).


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Should a Man Have More Than One Wife?

Polygamy is a common practice in Africa and among Muslim believing people. It is the practice of a man having two or more wives. It has been practiced almost as long as man has been on earth. Since polygamy has been here a long time, many people think it is alright. Is that true? No! Sin has been with man longer than polygamy. Is sin alright? No! Just because something has been here a long time does not make it right. For a thing to be right it has to be accepted by God.

What is God’s attitude toward polygamy? God is the one who brought marriage into the world. He made the first man, Adam (Genesis 1:26). He saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone. He then made a “wife” for Adam. Notice God did not make “wives” for Adam. If He had wanted Adam to have more than one wife, He would have made him more than one. One was enough. God knows best.

Man in his different cultures has brought many ideas about marriage into the world. Some of man’s ideas agree with God’s plan. Some of man’s ideas do not agree with God’s plan. This is true with polygamy. Polygamy is a “man-made” idea. It is not in agreement with God’s plan for marriage. Anything that does not agree with what God has done or said is sin. God’s plan is one man and woman (wife) for life (Genesis 2).

There are many examples of polygamy in the Bible. The first person to be a polygamist was Lamech (Genesis 4:19-24). He lived six generations after Adam. He was a murderer. Nothing good is said about him.

Abraham was also a polygamist (Genesis 16:1-5). His wife, Sarai, was unable to have children. She gave her slave, Hagar, to be Abraham’s wife. Hagar had children for Abraham. Sarah then became jealous of Hagar. This marriage was then full of troubles.

Another polygamist was Esau. He was the firstborn of Isaac and Rebekah. Esau married two Hittite women (Genesis 26:33-34). They caused much grief to Isaac and Rebekah. Polygamist marriages affect more than just the man and his wives.

Gideon was a great and brave leader. He had 70 sons from many wives (Judges 8:30-31). What kind of a father could he be to 70 sons? Not the kind that God wants us to be.

King Solomon had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. His wives turned his heart away from God (1 Kings 11:3). His downfall as a king was a result of his practice of polygamy.

Nowhere in the Bible can we find polygamy doing any good. Everything that is said about it shows it causes troubles. That has not changed. Today polygamy still causes many marriage problems for those who practice it.

Let us see some Bible principles that teach against the practice of polygamy. Genesis 2:23-24 says that a man shall “leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.” God did not say that man was to be joined to his “wives.” He said that man was to be joined to his “wife.” That is one and only one!

Paul compares the husband and wife to Christ and the church: “For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church…” (Ephesians 5:23). In Ephesians 1:22-23 we are told that the church is the body of Christ. There is only one body (Ephesians 4:4) so there is only one church. A man can have as many wives as Christ has churches. Christ has only one church so a man can have only one wife. Nowhere does the Bible speak of a man (one) being over wives (many) and that being right with God.

Matthew 19:3-9 speaks about divorce. Jesus Christ shows that God never wanted man (or woman) to divorce. The same is true with polygamy. God does not want a man to have more than one wife. Jesus said that a man shall “leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.” Jesus spoke of one man and one woman marrying. He said that marriage is made up of one man and one woman. The two make one flesh. When a man has more than one wife he is sinning. God hates sin.

In 1 Timothy 3:2 we are told that an elder must be the husband of one wife. Why not two or more? If it is a good practice, then why should not a church leader be a polygamist? The reason is that God does not want that kind of a marriage. Those who practice polygamy are sinning in God’s eyes. They cannot be church leaders nor church members.

Let us notice some problems with polygamy in the Bible. First, it causes strife and jealousy. We see it in the lives of those who practice it today. Joseph was sold into Egyptian slavery by his brothers because of jealousy from a polygamist marriage. Second, no man can be a proper husband by being a polygamist. Third, he can’t be a proper father as God intended. If a man has many children how can he be a father who brings them up “chastening and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4)? Fourth, polygamy causes a man to go away from God rather than closer to God. We should do nothing that causes us to go away from God. Fifth, it makes man master over woman. God never intended that in marriage. Man is to be the head of the wife and family. God said that a man is to love his wife as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5). Christ died for the church. A man must be willing to die for his wife. Is a polygamist going do that? I doubt it. His main concern is himself. He wants to be the “big” man. He thinks that by having many wives he is that “big” man.

What must a polygamist do if he wants to become a Christian? First, he must realize that he is a lost sinner. He then must believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God (Mark 16:16). Following his belief in Christ, he must repent (Acts 2:38). That means he must get rid of all sin in his life. In his marriage, he must get rid of all his “wives” but the first one. After repenting, he must confess his faith in Christ as the Son of God (Romans 10:10). He is now ready for baptism. This baptism is a burial in water (Romans 6:3-4). It is for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). This is what everyone has to do to become a Christian. Have you done these things? If not, you are not a Christian. If we can help you to become a Christian, please write and let us know.


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Questions and Answers on Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage

Question 1: If one divorces and remarries without Scriptural authority (that is, for the cause of fornication), can that person continue in fellowship with the church because he attends services regularly or has more money than most others?

Answer: No! The person you describe is committing adultery, and the one he is living with is committing adultery (Matthew 19:9)! No matter how often (or how long) one may attend services, no matter how much money one may have (or how much one may give), that person is living in sin, and will continue to do so until he repents. This involves being sorry for the sin committed, getting out of the ungodly relationship, confessing the sin before God and the brethren, and praying for forgiveness (Acts 8:22). The one who caused the divorce needs to return to his or her first mate, if the first mate is willing to forgive! If not, this person can no longer Scripturally remarry, but must remain single! If the person refuses to repent, after every attempt is made to win his should again, it is commanded by God that fellowship of the brethren be withdrawn so the guilty one’s soul might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus (I Corinthians 5).

Question 2: If a Christian man divorces his wife and impregnates a second woman, should the church stop him from doing church duties?

Answer: If a Christian man divorced his wife for any other cause than fornication, he has sinned! He has also sinned, having committed fornication, when he impregnated the second woman. This man needs to respond as shown in the answer to the first question. If he refuses to respond Scripturally, he also needs to be disciplined; that is, fellowship needs to be taken from him. Until he responds according to God’s Word, he should not be involved in any way with the church. To permit such would be to bring even greater shame to the church and to the Lord who died for him (Hebrews 10:26-29).

Question 3: If a Christian man divorces his wife and impregnates a second woman, can he continue with the second woman in order to keep her and the child from suffering?

Answer: No! The man would continue to be an adulterer! Paul says in Galatians 5:19-21, that those who “do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” It appears that the idea of ‘keeping the woman from suffering’ is just an attempt to make sin beautiful! If this man is truly concerned about the woman, he will sever (cut off) the relationship with her, lest she (and he) live an eternity suffering in Hell! Because this one cannot Scripturally continue with the woman, however, does not mean the sinner has no responsibility to the child he fathered! Indeed, he does! In I Timothy 5:8, we learn that one who does not provide for his own, “hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

Question 4: If the situation described in Question 3 is not solved after a long time, and if the divorced man continues with the impregnated woman, but also wants to continue worshipping, should the local church just forget it?

Answer: No! If the local church “just forgets about it,” they would, therefore, be sinning (being in danger of judgement, because they would be violating God’s Word, which commands that it not be forgotten, but rather be dealt with (I Corinthians 5)! Remember always: 1 Corinthians 5 is not merely a suggestion. It is a commandment to which me must all be obedient! It is a way given of God by which souls can be saved!

Question 5: Can a married couple who live together, but have no marriage certificate of any sort, separate, remarry each other, confess sin publicly, and be accepted by the local church?

Answer: If a man and a woman are not Scripturally and legally married, they are not living in a God-ordained marriage, but are in a sinful relationship! They, indeed, need to sever this sinful relationship, repent of their wickedness, and pray to God, if perhaps the thoughts of their hearts may be forgiven (Acts 8:22). At this point, they should be accepted as brother and sister in Christ, since they will have done what God commands. If each is Scripturally and legally free to marry, and do so, then they should be accepted as husband and wife!

Question 6: Some argue that, since a person can confess, be baptised, and receive a baptismal certificate (which shows that one is married to Christ), they can, likewise, confess sexual sin publicly and receive a marriage certificate that will sanctify their relationship. Is this true?

Answer: No! This is not true. The comparison in the question is neither accurate nor complete! A baptismal certificate is nothing but a piece of paper that witnesses to the fact of one’s baptism. A marriage certificate is nothing but a piece of paper that witnesses to the fact of a marriage between two people. The baptismal certificate does not sanctify the sinner, nor does the marriage certificate sanctify the marriage. Before one is married to Christ at baptism, he must first repent of his sins. This means he must give those sins up; he must get out of them; he must leave them behind! This includes sexual sin! A marriage certificate cannot be granted with the approval of God, or His church, to any persons who continue in adulterous marriages. Simply confessing the sexual sin does not sanctify it! Just as surely, a certificate does not sanctify it! The only way for a Christian to get rid of sin is to repent (in sorrow, turn away from it!) and pray to God (Acts 8:22). A thousand admissions of sin, a thousand certificates, would do nothing to set aside an unscriptural marriage!

In considering the many issues of marriage, divorce, and remarriage plaguing the church today, it is well to remember that God has ordained there be one husband and one wife for life. That marriage can only be terminated by death (Romans 7:1-3); or, in the case of fornication, the innocent party (the one who has remained pure and not contributed in any way to his mate’s sin) may with the approval of God divorce and remarry another. However, the innocent party may choose to be forgiving (upon the mate’s repentance) and continue in the marriage with God’s approval.

What God hath joined together, man cannot Scripturally put asunder (Matthew 19:6)! Though man may try to dissolve marriages for reasons other than death or fornication, though man may announce that a divorce for other reasons is granted, though husband and wife may agree to divorce for other reasons, the marriage remains intact before God. Man can never Scripturally separate that which God has joined together!

Man cannot Scripturally join together what God does not join together! Any joining together of a man and woman that God has not done is adulterous, sinful relationship! When churches look the other way and refuse to deal with these relationships according to the will of God, they become partakers of their evil deeds (2 John 9)!


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Marriage Questions

God’s original law of marriage might be summed up simply as “one man, one wife, for life” (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:1-4). Because of the hardness of their hearts, God permitted His people in the Old Testament to deviate from His plan. Polygamy was practised and divorce was permitted (Deuteronomy 24:1-4; Malachi 2:14-16). When our Lord Jesus Christ came, He restored God’s original plan for marriage (Matthew 19:3-9).

The general law of Jesus on marriage and divorce is found in Mark 10:1-2 and Luke 16:18. The Lord allowed only one exception to this general law: “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery” (Matthew 19:9).

If one puts away his marriage partner, and marries another person, he is guilty of adultery (I Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21: Hebrews 13:4). If one marries a person who has been put away by another, he also commits adultery. The exception is “except it be for fornication.” If one’s marriage partner commits fornication, the one who has not committed fornication can divorce the fornicator and marry another. Divorce for any other cause is sinful!

1st Corinthians chapter 7 contains Paul’s answers to questions which were asked by the 1 Corinthians (7:1). These questions were not about God’s law of marriage and divorce. The church was under persecution. Under those circumstances, was it best for a person to be married at all? Verse 26 is the key to understanding Paul’s answers to the questions: “I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.”

Considering the “present distress” (time of persecution), Paul states: “It is not good for a man to touch a woman” (7:1). Even though it would be easier to be unmarried during a time of persecution, yet, it is better to marry than to commit fornication. Sexual activity outside of marriage is sin (7:2-5). Paul wished that everyone had the strength to remain unmarried and not be tempted. Because everyone was not that strong, he said they should marry (7:6-10).

Those who were already married should not separate. If a separation did take place, they did not have the right to marry another (7:10, 11). Concerning a believer married to an unbeliever, Paul said the marriage was a holy union. If it were not, then the children would be illegitimate. If the unbeliever in such a marriage refused to live with the Christian, the Christian was not bound to keep the marriage together (7:12-17).

Some may have become Christians after their marriages and wondered if they should remain with an unbeliever. One can be a Christian in any relationship as long as it is not sinful. If one is a slave or a free man, a Jew or a Gentile, married or unmarried, he could still be a Christian (7:17-24).

“What about virgins? Should they marry?” Because of persecution, it would be better not to marry. But if they married, it was not wrong (7:25-28). One who is married will have care and concern about his marriage partner and children. It will be more difficult for him in the time of persecution. Instead of marrying, Paul says it would be better to give oneself fully to the Lord’s work (7:29-35).

“What about a man who has a daughter who is old enough to marry?” It is all right if the daughter is married, but it is better for her not to marry (7:36-38).

“What about a woman whose husband is dead?” She is free to marry again, but she must marry a Christian. If a woman’s marriage partner dies, she would bring trouble upon herself to marry a pagan when pagans were persecuting Christians (7:39, 40).

In order to understand first Corinthians seven, we must remember several things:
1. God’s general law for marriage is “one man, one wife, for life.” There is only one exception to this.
2. Paul is answering specific questions asked by the Corinthians.
3. What Paul is saying is because it was a special time of persecution. He was not stating general rules dealing with the general laws for marriage which are found elsewhere in the New Testament.